Robert Macfarlane, author of The Wild Places, is a strangly obsessed man who happens to also know how to write lean, fresh travelogue. Yes, I agree it is hard for an obsessed English writer to stand ahead of the crowd but I think he does. He went searching for all the wild places left in the British Isles, and often found them in places you would never consider or find without a guide.
You may have felt on rare occasion an unnamed urge to get away from everything constraining and responsible to someplace closer to the forces of life before the forces were called life. If so there is a little spark in you that is going to respond well to Macfarlane’s obsession and talent. My idea of roughing it is stopping at a motel without a bar, so I am not part of his reader demographics. No problem. An obsessive English writer standing out front is bound to surprise people. Charles Marlin